“I see you for the first time. I’m Wayne, the crown prince of the Kingdom of Natra.”
“Delnio Kingdom’s Chancellor, Sirdis. I’ve heard a lot about your highness.”
Wayne then sits down while exchanging light greetings. Zenovia next to him was in shock.
(Your Highness, will this be okay?!)
(No worries. Leave it to me.)
With a small nod, Wayne faces Sirdis.
“Well now, I said we will be happy to respond, but my schedule is tight. Let’s get into the main subject immediately. The reason why you’re here, was it about the trade goods?”
“Imperial goods flowing through Natra… I want you to stop this.”
That request from Sirdis was predictable. If the Kingdom of Delnio was conservatives and has many devout, the merchants from the Empire that would erode their culture must have been annoying.
“You know that the Empire has the ambition to spread their wars to the western part of the continent. For Levetianism, which advocate peace on the continent, and the salvation of the people, such a country is one that we cannot overlook. If you spread the product of the Empire to the west, you cannot escape the stigma of being the Empire’s vanguard. I know that your country has a deep connection with the eastern side of history, and since you have made the Kingdom of Marden as your part, I would like you to show your attitude as a member of the western side.”
From the flowing narrative, one could feel a certain culture and intellect. Not to mention, the one saying it was a Chancellor who once a commoner.
However, the fact that the request was predictable, the reply from Wayne was also ready.
“I see, I understand your claim.”
Wayne nodded and responded with a faint smile.
“However, Sir Sirdis seems to be a misunderstanding. Sure, my Natra has been active in trade lately, but it was also Natra goods you know?”
This was Natra official view. The reason for selling under the name of Natra, instead of the Empire, it was for the sake of making it easier for believers to buy it, but also to use it as a framework front to another country.
“Only fools would believe such roundabout ways…”
“To say it something roundabout, that is hurt. If so, should we try to buy something from the market? You will be able to understand, that the goods were from Natra.”
Sirdis then bitterly grunted.
“… Sure, there were some goods from Natra. When I noticed your aim, I was surprised. To think that you would distribute imperial goods under Natra name to create a fashion so that you could sell genuine Natra’s product.”
The eyes that could discern goods were hard to train.
Moreover, for humans in the western part of the continent, the product on the east side was made using an unknown technique. They definitely didn’t have the experience to judge whether it was genuine or fake.
However, even if you don’t know what was right or wrong, it was the nature of a person to try something new, and it was the nature of the world for people to follow the trend. And when one thing becomes popular, a person will try to sell things to piggyback the trend.
Wayne was one of those people who do that.
“For example, Empire clothing… I thought that there were many strange colors such as yellow, but now I understand, the aim was to make it stand out, and forcibly create a trend. And if you only imitated the colors, the people who don’t know things could be deceived. And even if some people are wondering about it, they would still buy it due to the sheer peer pressure to follow the trend. … Such an excellent trick.”
Sirdis spit those words out but…
“That is regrettable but, I don’t understand your concern. Isn’t it unusual for the goods to not have a varying degree of quality if what you say true?”
Wayne shrug off the argument blow toward him.
“Think calmly… The view of the believer of Levetianism is that the eastern part of the continent is the home of the barbarians, right? Which means, is Sir Sirdis wants to say that they could make an item that the highly aesthetic west people would buy?”
It was a bitter counter. Sirdis was aware of Levetianism’s view, and he also aware of the actual development of the eastern continent. But admitting that would mean he denies the civilization of the west and the view of Levetianism. The more devout a believer, the harder people would believe the situation.
However, Sirdis was a Chancellor of a country. One needs to change its approach.
“Even if that is the case, it is customary in the west for a country to refrain from an excessive intervention such as collecting toll taxes and imposing goods for pilgrims after the Killcruz decree! Do you aware that you’re breaking it?”
A hundred years ago, the Killcruz decree was issued, with the aim of cut away the eastern side of the continent from the pilgrim’s route. Leaders of Levetianism need some congregation to make it work smoothly.
Therefore, Levetianism coordinated with each country and offered an incentive, such as tax exemption for the pilgrim, and protection from the bandit, and high-pressure sales person.
“As Sir Sirdis said himself, they are just customary. Unless Levetianism officially makes a proclamation, otherwise we will not enforce your claim.”
If it was stated as a decree the system may be abused. Therefore, each country, 100 years ago, left room for immediate withdraw in the event of an emergency.
Which means, the incentives were merely a tacit understanding of the western countries.
And of course, Wayne currently breaking that tacit understanding.
At the end of the day, “Let’s be kind to the pilgrims together.” “That’s right.” “That’s good.” overwhelmingly introduced. That was Wayne thought.
“If you’re a royal family, you should understand the weight of a hundred years custom. If you look down on it, it is the same as smearing mud on Levetianism’s face!”
Levetianism was widely rooted in the western part of the continent. Wayne wants to refrain from doing this…
But now, Sardis was trying to shift the argument.
“To say that our policy is detrimental to Levetianism is fine. However, such a thing should be officially declared by Levetianism, no?”
Sirdis’ face distorted as soon as that painful part was being said.
“Sir Sirdis is just one believer. Even if you’re a Lord, it would still be overstepping as a Lord to speak as if he were the representative of Levetianism, no?”
Wayne knows that his plan would touch the nerve of the Levetianism believer. It was within his expectation, some warning, or complaint letters would be sent from Leveianism in the future.
(If that is the case then, might as well make the most of it until then.)
How much he could earn before the Levetianism took action? He thought. This was such a good game. There was no room for the Delnio Kingdom to win, he thought.
“Come on., Sir Sardis, still have anything to say?”
They didn’t admit the goods they exported normally come from the Empire. He tried to impose religious reasons but, he has no authority to do so. It was obvious that Sirdis has no choice but to look down on his embarrassment.
And Sirdis muttered in a small muffled voice with a grudge.
“Why is this kind person, not someone like me…!”
His snarled voice didn’t reach Wayne. But Wayne could feel that Sirdis held his anger.
(Is it working?)
Wayne gives a hand signal to the escort who is waiting. The escort may have already felt the sign of Sirdis, and they were ready for battle.
Wayne then saw that Sirdis shoulders suddenly relaxed.
“… Apparently, you don’t understand.”
Sirdis got up. His expression was cold, yet there was sharp strength from it.
“It can’t be helped. We will discuss this matter in our home country, and we shall discuss it again later…”
“Is that so? It is a pity that we could not understand each other, but there will be more opportunities in the future…”
“I hope so. … Then.”
Sirdis turned his heels back. His escort rush to follow him.
However, before he leaves the room, Sirdis turned around.
“Let me just say, one last thing…”
He took a deep breath,
“You will definitely regret your decision today…”
Wayne grinned at such words and replied…
“Let’s pray to God that such a day will not come…”